We’ve been working on firming up a framework to share our current thinking on what it takes to develop a sustainable program for entrepreneurship to thrive within an existing company, based on our own experience, what we’ve learned from other successful Inside Entrepreneurs and what we’ve seen drive success across teams we’ve worked with. When it comes to developing individuals into Inside Entrepreneurs, three ingredients are consistently present: mindset, skills and knowledge.
Mindset is really all about the attitude and approach that an individual takes toward their work. It’s a consistent focus on new, better, different. It’s tenacity and perseverance. It’s about having thick skin and truly not being afraid to learn fast and fail a few times. Mindset can’t be taught, but it can be encouraged, role-modeled and expected.
Skills are the meat of “how” to be entrepreneurial. There are several skills we’ve seen as important success indicators for entrepreneurs who are driving initiatives within existing companies. Things like networking/relationship building; selling; setting up launch and learn experiments; leveraging and developing a team, etc. Skills can and must be taught, practiced and rewarded consistently.
Knowledge is the foundation of the tool box for the inside entrepreneur. Some knowledge is fairly general/universal — business models; supply/demand; pricing; go to market strategies, etc. Industry specific knowledge is also critical. We’ve seen successful Inside Entrepreneurs pick up knowledge by reading books and blogs, taking classes, observing case studies, networking with other leaders (asking lots of questions and taking good notes).
So, we’re working with this framework as a way to think about developing and enabling Inside Entrepreneurs. But, of course, we’re always learning and we’d love to hear your thoughts and builds.
Photo licensed under Creative Commons 2.0 via Flickr user: Mykl Roventine